Tullio Pericoli was born in Colli del Tronto, near Ascoli Piceno, in 1936. He moved to Milan in 1961 and soon became an established artist.
In the 1970s he started to work regularly for the cartoon magazine «Linus», for the daily newspaper «Corriere della Sera» (from 1974), and for the weekly magazine «L’Espresso». At the same time there where exhibitions of his work in Milan, Parma, Urbino and at the Olivetti centre in Ivrea. After illustrating an editon of Robinson Crusoe for Olivetti, he exhibited the original works in Milan (at the Padiglione of Arte Contemporanea), Bologna, Genoa and Rome.
From 1984 he began contributing illustrations regularly for the daily «La Repubblica».
In 1987 Livio Garzanti asked him to produce a mural for one of the large rooms of the Garzanti publishing company.
In 1988 the publisher Prestel of Munich produced his Woody, Freud e gli altri, later published in France, Spain and the USA. The volume also served as the catalogue of a successful exhibition presented in Germany and Austria.
1990 saw the publication of another collection of portraits, Ritratti Arbitrari (published by Einaudi). At the same time the one-man shows of the artist continued: in Milan (Attraverso il disegno a large-scale exhibition at the Palazzo Reale), Paris and Munich. He was awarded the Gulbransson Prize from the Olaf Gulbransson Museum at Tegernsee (1993), and presented an exhibition entitled Il tavolo del re at the Gulbrasson Museum, then in Bamberg, Frankfurt and New York. In 1995 he designed scenery and costumes for the Zurich Opernhaus production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, his first work for the theatre. Three years later he worked on a new production of the same opera for La Scala in Milan.
In 2001 he was director, scenographer and costume designer for Ionescu’s Le chaises at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan, and in the same year designed sets and costumes for Rossini’s Il turco in Italia again for Zurich.
The volume Terre (Rizzoli, also published in the USA and Great Britain) collected drawings and paintings on the theme of landscape. A large-scale exhibition of works in this collection was held at the Palazzo Lanfranchi, Pisa, at the beginning of 2002. In the same year Adelphi published the book I ritratti, a selection of 577 faces of personages mostly of the international literary world. Some of them were exhibited at the Spazio Oberdan in Milan. On this occasion Adelphi published Otto scrittori, a new book of portraits.
The University of Camerino conferred on him the honorary degree in architecture and he was awarded the Premio Nazionale Gentile da Fabriano for art and culture.
In 2004 the big paintings he executed for Carlo Caracciolo’s residence in Torrecchia were presented in Rome, at Palazzo Venezia. He also published La casa ideale di Robert Louis Stevenson (Adelphi) and Viaggio nel paesaggio (Nuages).
In 2005 Bompiani publishes L’anima del volto.
In 2006 his paintings are exhibited at the Galleria Ceribelli in Bergamo (title of the exhibition: Parti senza un tutto).
2007 is the year of the exhibition of his portraits of Samuel Beckett at the Oscar Wilde House in Dublin. Adelphi publishes an illustrated version of Robinson Crusoe, an elaboration of the project once realized for Olivetti, while Rizzoli publishes Paesaggi. Part of the paintings shown in the book are exhibited at the Galleria Lorenzelli Arte in Milano.
In 2009 there was a large exhibition on the theme of landscape in his home town, Ascoli Piceno, entitled Sedendo e mirando.
The theme of landscape returns in the two most recent exhibitions: Lineamenti, volto e paesaggio (Roma, Museo dell’Ara Pacis, 2010) and L’infinito paesaggio (Milano, Villa Necchi Campiglio, 2010).
In 2012 the gallery Cartiere Vannucci (Milan) hosts Moby Dick, an exposition of paintings from 2008 to 2012 and, in the same year, the landscapes painted by Pericoli meet those photographed by Giacomelli in the exhibition Graffiature. I paesaggi di Tullio Pericoli e Mario Giacomelli, (Senigallia, Rocca Roveresca). In the same year the gallery Franca Mancini in Pesaro hosts Quelques riens pour Rossini, an exhibition curated by Associazione Culturale Il Teatro degli Artisti, during the traditional Rossini Opera Festival: the exhibition includes some of Rossini’s portrait and the most significant drawings of Il Turco in Italia staging in Zurich Opernhaus (2002).
In 2012 Adelphi publishes Attraverso l’albero. Piccola storia dell’arte and, in the same year, Mondadori realises 80 ritratti per 10 scrittori.
In 2013, Adelphi publishes the anthology I Paesaggi. A part of the works contained in the volume composes an exhibition hosted by the MART in Rovereto during the following year.
In 2014, Adelphi publishes Pensieri della mano. Da una conversazione con Domenico Rosa.
In the same year take place the following exhibitions: the landscapes of Areonatura, at MAG in Riva del Garda; Ritratti, at Spazio Don Chisciotte, in Torino; I paesaggi, at MART in Rovereto; Volti di volti, at Galleria Paggeriarte in Sassuolo (in the occasion of Festivalfilosofia); Una storia di segni. Le incisioni di Tullio Pericoli, at Museo della Grafica, in Pisa. In 2015, the same exhibition is hold in Castello Pasquini, Castiglioncello. In September 2015, the exhibition Sulla terra, collecting the works on landscapes from 1999 to 2015, opens at Palazzo Fava, Bologna, and is then moved to Urbino, at Palazzo Ducale, in 2016.
Again in 2016, Adelphi publishes the book Piccolo teatro, a collection of “talking portraits”, inspired by Toni Servillo and Mimmo Borrelli theatrical work on Napoli.
The exhibition I paesaggi di Tullio Pericoli opens at the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo in May 2016, followed by the exhibition Oltre i margini, held at Palazzo Gambalunga, Rimin, within the event Biennale del disegno.
In September for the exhibition Quanti ritratti, caro Umberto, drawings, schetches, games and letters, in which Tullio Pericoli portrays Umberto Eco, are displayed at the town hall in Camogli (Genoa). Almost one hundred portraits; from the official ones published on book’s covers and magazines to the ones made for fun during private moments of a long relationship, based on friendship and esteem.
In 2017 for the exhibition at the Galleria Consadori in Milan a new book Scritture e figure is published by Skira